i'm sharanjit leyl in singapore. the headlines: criticised by their president and their voters, republican party politicians reverse plans to strip an ethics committee of its powers. and more trump tweets seem to get results. ford decides to invest in the us and not mexico. i'm babita sharma in london. we have a special report from inside the istanbul nightclub where 39 people were gunned down on new year's eve. and it's double trouble for a pair of american twins. we'll bring you a story of brotherly heroism. live from our studios in singapore and london, this is bbc world news. it's newsday. good morning. it's 9am in singapore, 1am in london and 8am in the evening in washington, where the republican—led us congress
was expected to have a ceremonious first day back for 2017. instead, it was full of action — republicans have ditched a plan to strip the office of congressional ethics of its independence. the reversal was prompted by a public outcry and a dressing down from donald trump on twitter. and in the past hour, the president—elect has also tweeted that onjanuary 11th in new york he will hold his first official news conference since his election. here's laura trevelyan with the latest from washington. the house will come to order. as the brand—new congress convened on thursday, instead of celebrating the republicans‘ dominance of washington, lawmakers were the centre of the debate. it is over their behaviour is policed in the name of avoiding corruption. on monday night, republicans in the house of representatives tried to gut the independence of the office of congressional ethics by bringing it under the control
of a house committee, prompting an outcry from democrats and government watchdogs. despite the row, it looked like a done deal. until donald trump took to twitter, saying: republicans had to decide whether they wanted to cross mr trump before he had even taken the oath of office. some had staked out their positions before the tweets. i voted against this particular amendment because of the oversight language that i thought was ambiguous and needed further clarification. but others were defiant in their call to strip the ethics oversight body of their powers. i think we should have gone forward and i'm going to push for the full abolishment of the oce because they are based on the wrong principles and no one should have to be subjected to public criticism that is generated by an anonymous accusers. the outgoing administration seized on the opportunity to lecture republicans.
republicans in congress had revealed a lot about their priorities when the first action they took was was to vote in a secret to gut the ethical requirements they're subject to. donald trump mounted a hostile takeover of the republican party to become the presidential nominee. and now he has had to remind lawmakers he was elected on a platform to drain the swamp. with an ambitious agenda ahead, the relationship between the new republican congress and the president—elect has got off to a shaky start. well, congress wasn't the only thing donald trump was busy tweeting about. he also took on general motors, criticising the car company for importing compact cars to the us from mexico, threatening a big border tax. a short time later, ford announced it was cancelling plans for a $1.6 billion plant in mexico in favour of further investment in the us. the company's ceo mark fields explained why.
we look at a lot of factors when we look at decisions. the announcements we're making today of $700 million investment here in our flat rock michigan plant, and adding 700 jobs, one of the factors we put into that is the more favourable us business environment that we see under president—elect trump and some of the pro—growth policies and reforms, whether it is tax or regulatory, that he's been talking about so that did play positively in this and it's and a vote of confidence that he can deliver on these things so, while donald trump has apparently been influencing the us congress and the american car industry, there is one place still immune to his tweets. tweeting about suspected terrorists held at the us military base in guantanamo, trump described them as extremely dangerous and said there should be no further releases. in response, the white house spokesperson said they expect more prisoners to be transferred from the camp before the 20th january — the day donald trump officially takes office.
also making news this hour: one of the people in brexit negotiations has resigned. sir ivan rogers, the british ambassador to the eu, stepped down after it emerged he'd warned a new uk—eu trade deal might take ten years to finalise. his decision received a varied reaction from the brexit and pro—eu camps. now senior officials are also being attacked, as they have been for weeks now in ivan rogers‘ case, for simply questioning brexit dogma. that is a dangerous trend. because senior officials are there to provide fearless objective advice, not to sign up to the ideology or dogma of their political masters. sir ivan is part of the establishment that frankly haven't accepted the referendum result and are hoping that frankly it will never happen. and i'm sorry to say, but the foreign office is stuffed with these people
from top to bottom. for decades they've been taking britain in the completely wrong direction and i hope sir ivan's departure is followed by many, many more. japan has renamed its de facto embassy in taiwan to officially include the word "taiwan". china has criticised the name change. japan's top representative said relations between the two countries are at their best. their mission had been called the "interchange association, japan" since the 1970s. japan is now taiwan's third largest trading partner and has the second largest number of foreign tourists. reports from saudi arabia say that a number of foreign workers have been punished for protesting last year over unpaid wages. saudi newspapers say that almost 50 workers have been sentenced by a court in mecca. they've received shortjail terms, and in some cases 300 lashes. it's being reported in the united states that the convicted mass murderer, charles manson, has been taken to hospital. media reports say that manson, who is in his 80s, has been moved to a hospital about an hour away from california's corcoran state prison
where he is being held. an unnamed source told the la times that manson is seriously ill. he's serving a life sentence for his role in the infamous murders of seven people including one unborn child in 1969. yesterday on newsday we were reporting about a riot that broke out in a brazilian prison. a few of the people who broke out have been posting these photos on facebook, bragging of their escape. the brazilian justice minister said gang leaders who started the riots will be moved to more secure federaljails. let's take you back to washington and the twitter watch on president—elect donald trump. the soon—to—be president often tweets several times a day. his actions haven't gone unnoticed or un—criticised by his democratic opponents. making america great again requires more than 140 characters per issue. with all due respect, america cannot afford
a twitter presidency. well, i asked the bbc‘s laura trevelyan in washington if donald trump was now setting the agenda through his twitter feed. he most certainly is. if you think about it, in the last 2a hours, i think he has tweeted about north korea, about general motors, about guantanamo bay and he has ticked off, most consequentially perhaps today politically, his own party. because republicans, even though they know donald trump was elected on a promise to drain the swamp here in washington and end business as usual, they somehow managed to make their very first order of business last night voting to remove themselves from an independent ethics office, which monitored their behaviour, and instead take back control of it themselves. now, a public outcry followed this and many members of public,
it must be said, called up their congressional offices to register their disapproval but it was donald trump turning to twitter and reminding them all that he was elected on a promise to drain the swamp which sent lawmakers into action and they reversed themselves. so, yes, this is how it will be. he will keep his twitter account, i am sure, after he is sworn in. everybody will feel his wrath and have to respond. it doesn't seem a good start to the new year or a good start in terms of his relations with his congress? right, which is puzzling. today should have been a big celebration for republicans. they control the senate, they control the house of representatives, and in a couple of weeks' time they are going to have the presidency. they have an ambitious agenda and want to repeal president obama's health—care reform, they want to have tax cuts, they want to cut business regulations, they have this whole agenda in place. and instead, the first day
there is a huge clash over something which the public is not remotely interested in, which is a question of ethics and how congressional ethics are governed. now, members of congress feel very strongly that the independent ethics office was unfair and singled them out so they made it a priority. you can see there will be a clash between the populist president and those lawmakers who haven't quite adjusted to the new environment. and away from politics as well, this is impacting the business world. because, obviously, he has also sparked a row through one of his tweets today with general motors and its manufacturing operations in mexico. tell us more about that. because there's a couple of other manufacturers as well. that is right, exactly. general motors got into trouble with president trump because it makes cars in mexico and brings them over the border to the us,
which is not an activity that he approves of. he wants all manufacturing to take place here in the us and not be outsourced somewhere to where it's cheaper. also, fod announced yesterday that rather than build a factory in mexico, it's goign to reinvest money here in the us. the question is whether this is good economics, good manufacturing, or whether this is simply corporate america not wanting to take a hit on their share price and have the president—elect tweet at them, so quite how this will play out, we don't know. but it is fascinating to see. what we do know is that all the power lies with the president—elect and his twitter feed at this point. the main suspect in the new year terror attack on a nightclub in istanbul, which left 39 people dead, is still on the run. turkish police have detained more than a dozen people so far. our turkey correspondent mark lowen has been allowed into the club where the massacre took place. three days ago, this place was full of joy, of life, of celebration.
today, reina nightclub is a crime scene, scarred by terror. we were the only british media allowed in, briefly. a rare glimpse of where 39 people were killed on new year's eve. imagine the horror as 180 bullets were sprayed here. people jumping into the freezing bosphorus to escape. the owners of reina say they will open the nightclub again. it is a sign of the defiant mood here. yes, people are sombre, yes, they're fearful, but turks have lived with a terror threat for decades, albeit on a smaller scale, and they are determined not to let it defeat them. watch the right—hand side of this footage from the attack. a manjumps over a low fence outside the nightclub to avoid the bullets. then the gunman runs up to the door, shooting his way into reina. that man on the right of the video
was nightclub manager ali unal, who had a miraculous escape. translation: i felt bullets explode next to me. i threw myself over the fence but tripped and fell. the bullets went centimetres over my head. when i fell, he must have thought he hit me so he went inside and i heard terrible sounds. the suspect still hasn't been caught. new pictures show him at a bus station in the central city of konya before travelling to istanbul. so—called islamic state called him their brave soldier. the turkish authorities have given no more information about him. raids tonight in a part of istanbul from where he is thought to have travelled to the nightclub. no arrests were made. security is being tightened amid fears is could strike again here in revenge for turkey's operations against the group in syria. there have, though,
been others detained, including two foreigners at istanbul airport. it's not clear what link, if any, they are thought to have had with the attack. those tired of terror went to the scene of the massacre today, a quiet commemoration. tributes were laid and thoughts gathered about how their country can rebuild and how the next generation can regain a sense of safety. i don't want to cry anymore while i am watching the news, you know? it makes me really sad. and i don't want my daughter to grow up in this kind of environment, you know? with this news on in the background and everything. i want her to be happy. and so a nervous wait to see if those who protect this country are really closing in on the man who brought horror to new year's eve. mark lowen, bbc news, istanbul. some breaking news for you now. the
associated press agency is reporting officials in the philippines say more than 130 inmates have escaped from a prison in the south of the country. it has been described as one of the largestjail breaks in recent yea rs. one of the largestjail breaks in recent years. suspected muslim rebels attacked the north district jail. the gel warden says a guard was killed and an inmate winded when dozens was killed and an inmate winded when d oze ns of was killed and an inmate winded when dozens of inmates stormed the building. two prisoners have a p pa re ntly building. two prisoners have apparently being recaptured and army troops and police were searching for the others —— jail warden. you're watching newsday on the bbc. still to come on the programme: our reporters on yemen's frontline, where the civil war is taking an ever—greater toll on civilians. the japanese people are mourning, following the death of emperor hirohito. thousands converged on the imperial palace
to pay their respect when it was announced he was dead. good grief. after half a century of delighting fans around the world, charlie brown and the rest of the gang are calling it quits. the singer paul simon starts his tour of south africa tomorrow, in spite of protests and violence from some black activist groups. they say international artists should continue to boycott south africa until majority rule is established. teams were trying to scoop up lumps of oil as france recognises it faces an ecological crisis. three weeks ago, the authorities confidently assured these areas that oil from the broken tanker erika would head out to sea. it didn't. the world's tallest skyscraper opens today. the burj dubai has easily overtaken its nearest rivals. this is newsday, on the bbc. i'm sharanjit leyl, in singapore. i'm babita sharma, in london.
thank you forjoining us. our top stories: republicans in the us congress have ditched plans to reduce the powers of an independent ethics watchdog after voters and donald trump questioned their priorities. the attacker responsible for the new year's eve gun attack in istanbul remains at large — but turkish authorities have detained a dozen other people they say are connected. let's take a look at some front pages from around the world. the south china morning post leads with the news that hong kong's former chief executive donald tsang has pleaded not guilty at the start of his corruption trail. also on its front page, an agreement between hong kong and shenzhen to jointly develop an innovation and technology park — ending a long—running dispute over the land. good news from singapore on the front page of the straits times. the economy grew at 1.8% in the final quarter of 2016 — the fastest growth for three years.
that boost means that the papers are already looking ahead to the budget — due to to be delivered by finance minister heng swee keat on february the 20th. the china daily reports on the continued problem of air quality, with officials saying that more needs to be done in the long term to solve the problem of smog. its main picture story is the news that young golfing talent is being rewarded with a big increase in sporting scholarships to the us for chinese boys and girls. that brings you up to date with the papers. now, babita, what stories are sparking discussions online? take a look a this, sharanjit. this shocking video is the most watched online. it shows a chest of drawers toppling over as these twin toddlers in the us climb up on it playing. two—year—old brock gets trapped underneath the dresser, and after assessing the situation, his brother springs into action. the video, captured on a baby monitor, was released
by their parents to highlight the dangers of unsecured furniture like this. thanks to his twin brother, brock manages to crawl free. there's been more fighting in yemen, with 11 civilians, including 5 members of one family, reported to have been killed in clashes between pro government forces and rebels. the rebels are known as the houthis. they managed to take over the capital, sana'a, in 2014. a coalition led by saudi arabia began an air campaign against them in march 2015. the rebels retain control of large parts of yemen, but the front lines shift constantly. nawal al—maghafi has been to the country and reports on the danger for civilians caught in the middle. this is where the battle to retake the capital begins. the mountains ahead are all that stands between the army and the capital, sana'a.
their commander is taking us higher into the frontline positions. he tells me the terrain makes it a naturalfortress for the houthi rebels and his men are always exposed to death. it is the first time an international broadcaster has visited these areas. they are just 70 kilometres from the capital, but, because of a push into the mountains, the harder the fight becomes. translation: every day we make some progress. we attack and we retake land. people are lost, but at least the land is liberated. the rebels are retreating on a daily basis. but both sides have reached a stalemate. despite arms brought in from the saudi coalition, these fighters from the national army haven't made any major gains. and as they fight for ground, the situation in yemen
has deteriorated drastically. as the frontline shifts, landmines have been left behind. the army says the houthi rebels have exploded tens and thousands of them. in both military and civilian areas. yemen is one of the worst affected countries in the world. despite a lack of training, the army says they have disposed of over 1,300 mines in the past year alone. locals in this area say all of their farmland was mined. this is one of the areas the houthis had control of. the national army and the people pushed them out and as they were doing so the houthis planted landmines all over the fields. this man and his family fled once the fighting started. they thought it was safe to return home. translation: my wife was praying here in the room and my son
and daughter were sitting with her. they had lunch, and my wife asked my son to pass her a blanket. as he did so, there was a huge explosion. the mine planted in his home killed his wife, 22—year—old son and eight—year—old daughter. "it hurts to remember what happened", he says. "we just want to forget." the houthis‘ strongly deny using landmines in civilian areas. they say they only target military vehicles and accuses the coalition of planting their own mines. regardless of who is responsible, the prospect of a solution remains in the distance, and the yemeni people stuck in the middle continue to pay the price. 18 people have drowned in the australian state of new south wales in just 10 days. paramedics have dealt with a further
225 drownings or near—drownings in the past two months. the victims include two—year—old twins, who drowned in a backyard pool. phil mercer has more. it has been a terrible festive period for many families in australia. when you consider that mainland australia has a coastline of more than 35,000 kilometres, the beach is key to the australian culture. authorities are warning people to take extra care and officials are also saying that there have been more drownings in inland waterways, in lakes and rivers, than on the coast and that's because rivers, for example, can be deeper, colder, than coastal waters. currents can be hard to read and there can be obstacles hidden in the murky waters. so it isn'tjust dangers on the coast that swimmers are warned to be wary of, they are also urging extra caution in inland waterways as well.
what about the situation, as we described in our introduction, of the family affected, when two—year—old twins drowned in a backyard pool? clearly there are incidences of drowning in the home that are on the rise as well? once again, authorities are calling this the season of distractions. they say it only takes a moment or so for harassed parents to lose sight of their children in their backyards. and those twins that you mentioned, a horrible story that has been making headlines here in australia, if memory serves me rightly a little boy and a little girl who died later in hospital. another toddler also died in a backyard pool in australia. there are very strict rules concerning fences in backyard pools, but again, authorities warning parents and carers not to take their eyes off their children in backyard pools, even for a moment.
you have been watching newsday. stay with us. we will be taking a look at what the year ahead could hold for india's economy after last year's sudden crackdown on illegal cash. and before we go, let's leave you with these pictures of a mum and her bundle ofjoy. and janet jackson has given birth to her first and janet jackson has given birth to herfirst child at and janet jackson has given birth to her first child at the age of 50. they said they were thrilled to welcome the infant, called versailles. speculation about her pregnancy came about last month when she postponed her tour. we will be back at the same time tomorrow. see you then, goodbye. —— called eissa. hi there. our temperatures are seesawing around at the moment.
one day relatively mild, the next cold and it's the turn of the north of the uk to have a slab of cold air working in behind. the weather front over the next few hours, tightly packed isobars affecting shetland. gusty winds of up to 50 mph. but the winds will gradually ease. the cold air will be wafting in across scotland and a good part of northern england as we start the day. that's where the lowest temperatures will be. there could be the odd pocket of frost in sheltered parts of the highlands of scotland. this is wednesday morning. across england and wales we have cloud, but easing through the day for many areas. the weak front will bring patchy outbreaks of rain southwards across wales, the midlands and into parts of eastern england. it is patchy and some areas will get almost nothing. to the north of this front, across northern england and to a degree northern ireland and scotland, the cloud will break up. the best of the sunshine
in scotland. here, a few wintry showers across shetland and clipping the coast of aberdeenshire, with strong winds still around. the winds will fall lighter through the day. showers will be blown down the north sea, but, thanks to the direction of the wind, most showers will stay offshore, coming across eastern parts of norfolk. the mildest air to the south—west. it will turn colder across northern england, northern ireland and scotland, and overnight, as the cloudy skies continue to clear away, bringing clearer skies. a sharp frost this coming night. temperatures in the towns and cities getting well below freezing. in the countryside, we could see those getting down to —6, —7. so it will be a freezing cold start to thursday, with a sharp frost, maybe icy patches. through the day there will be barely a cloud in the sky for many. despite the sunshine, it will feel cold, with temperatures fairly widely between 2—5 celsius. it's all change towards the end of the week. this atlantic system will gradually sink southwards on friday.
there is a little wad of less cold air coming southwards along, with a band of cloud and rain, brisk winds too. temperatures will be lifting. on friday, through the afternoon, reaching a high of about 10 celsius towards the south—west, maybe 11 for belfast. 8—9 typicalfor parts of england and wales. this weekend it will stay cloudy. rain at times, especially in the north—west. also some brighter spells.